In case you haven’t heard- The Great Recession is over

It’s OK to start buying knives again. Spread the word.

grecessionThe Great Recession is technically over. Yes, the U. S. Government is officially calling an end to the worst economic period since the Great Depression. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5% annual pace in the third quarter, as massive government stimulus helped drag the economy out of the longest and deepest recession since the 1930s, the Commerce Department estimated last week.

moneyAnd while we still have some serious issues, if what we’re told is correct, we spent our way out of a bona fide depression (if that is really possible. I know I couldn’t do it-  I’d just get deeper into debt). That is good news, cause back around the end of last year things looked dire. Business screeched to a halt due to the tremendous uncertainty that permeated decisions at all levels.

We know it hit the knife industry hard, as buyers pulled back. But the storm is now over, so knife sales should now pick up, right? Production return back to normal, re-hiring at the plants and new product lines introduced. You know I’m only a knife collector, not an economist, but I think this is what’s supposed to happen. Isn’t it?

christmasI know unemployment nationally is 10.2%, home values have yet to stabilize (despite what NAR says) and folks are still struggling like nobody’s business, but they’re telling us The Great Recession is now over …..and just in time for Christmas.

Image Source: assets3.blurb.com, giantrobot.com, hittingmetalwithahammer.com

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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Knife industry and collectors are pitching in to help raise money for breast cancer cause

pinkribbonAll across America knife enthusiasts are uniting in support and are raising money to help fund research for breast cancer, as October is breast cancer awareness month. Robert Hale of Iron City Blades brought this coordinated effort of the knife industry and collectors to our attention.

Many makers and suppliers, including Iron City Blades, Spyderco, Buck, Ka-Bar, Victorinox, Shepherd Hills Cutlery,  Smoky Mountain Knife Works and others are offering knives, or have set aside production time and product line to pink handled ribbon-emblazoned products with all or part of the proceeds going to organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation and others.

The largest social network for knife collectors, iKnifeCollector, is also pitching in to help with an eBay auction of a Featured Membership with all proceeds are being donated. The iKnifeCollector auction is located on their community homepage.

Regardless of how you show your support, pitch in.


Knife collecting still making the cut

us-economyThis year’s been a doozie and we’ve still got a quarter to go. We’ll end up at over a hundred bank closings. Auto maker bailouts. Record high foreclosures. Unemployment near 10%.  Record business and personal bankruptcies. Makes your head spin doesn’t it? Not since the Great Depression has our country been hammered like it has this year.

CNJ reported successful knife makers reduced employee’s salaries or have been forced to adjust by laying off workers due to low knife sales. In some cases other business failures have impacted knife companies too- distributors, retailers and suppliers.

In regard to our knife organizations, the timing of this severe downturn couldn’t be worse, as most need the steady revenue while the leaderships conduct SWAT analysis on their organizations. The economy’s caused many collectors to drop club and association memberships.

economyThe dark-side of the recession is also having it’s toll on collectors in other areas too. More collectors are selling knives to help make ends meet. I spoke with another collector yesterday who is selling because he needs the cash.

One knife industry expert claims, incidentally, these collectors will become tomorrow’s dealers. His theory is this-  these individuals who do need to sell will hit the show circuit in order to liquidate. Then they will eventually need to buy more knives from other dealers in order to have additional inventory to sale. I think that is hog wash, personally. The guy I mentioned earlier who is selling off a major chunk of his collection isn’t going to set up at shows- he’s using eBay.

Even with the tough times, knife collecting is still making the cut.

The 2009 CNJ Knife Collector Survey taken earlier this year revealed almost half of the 1300 collectors surveyed stated their participation in the hobby hasn’t been affected by the recession.

Click to enlarge

2009 Knife Collector Survey Q#6 II

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There is an additional bright-side to all this too- Record low interest rates and tremendous investment buying opportunities. Untold billions will be made as a result of this recession. Cash rich companies and individuals will make a fortune buying in a down market, but when we do come out of this-  the business landscape will look all together different.

Don’t be surprised if there are some knife company mergers and buy-outs before this is all said and done too.

Photo credits: http://www.uml.edu; http://www.blogtrepreneur.com

The weak economy continues to impact Knife Industry

BuckLogoLast week, Buck Knives announced it was cutting 200 employees salary to hold its own through these uncertain economic times.

The Coeur d’Alene Press reported the Post Falls, Idaho knife company, one of the largest employers in Northern Idaho, made a 10 percent reduction in pay and/or work hours. While the company hasn’t had layoffs in several months this move is a result of “economic woes endured by Buck’s customers” that continues to impact Buck according to Phil Duckett, Buck COO in an interview with staff writer Brian Walker. Buck had multiple layoffs during 2008.

“One of our significant customers is off- plan over 20%, and we have had multiple customers file for bankruptcy,” Ducket said. “(Those) are the major factors in the action we’ve taken.”

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cutlery News Journal celebrates its first birthday

Happy BirthdayCutlery News Journal is 1 year old! Yes, that’s right CNJ launched on 8.24.08. The CNJ staff and production team celebrated and sat around reminiscing last week. I gave them 10 minutes to enjoy the good ol’ days, then hurried them back to work. There’s lots of knife collector news out there to be covered.

By now our readers know CNJ isn’t a typical knife website. There are no knives for sale. No knife company behind the scenes pulling strings for preferred features. No knife reviews. No catering to advertisers. Nope. None. Nada of any of that.

CutleryNewsJoD07aR02aP13ZL_mdmCNJ is pure, unadulterated, knife collector freedom of speech. While we aren’t unopinioned, we try to report the news and interesting happenings from the knife world. We offer unique observations on trends as they affect knife collectors. And yes, we provide straightforward, no holds barred, editorials. You probably already know this- we like to have fun in some of our stories too.

CNJ served up 261 articles filed into 62 categories with 706 easily searchable tags.

Over the last year our knife collector news stories were viewed 52,494 times. CNJ now averages between 5000 to 5500 views a month.

What does this next year hold? Don’t know, but we are committed to bring you up to date knife collector and related news as it happens. It will be interesting as it unfolds. These are exciting times for collectors and the industry.

Thank you for your continued support!

Next up: Top Stories as ranked by the readers and a few of staff picks too!

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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W R Case lays off workers

WR Case Lays Off 31 Factory Workers

As reported on wbrrfm.com– W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. has laid off 31 employees, all factory associates. Case communications manager Fred Feightner says because of the economy, they have had to adjust their business plan. He says the biggest problem is attitude – people and dealers are afraid to spend money right now. Feightner says the company doesn’t foresee any more layoffs, but it all depends on the economy.

Published in: on February 3, 2009 at 6:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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The 2009 Knife Community Survey

cnjreaderpollsOne of the benefits of the web is information can be exchanged easily and with just a few clicks you have the opportunity to help shape the direction of the knife collector industry.

If you have participated in a CNJ survey, you know my goal is simply to develop initiatives, topics or, in some cases, platforms to get the Establishment’s attention.  And let me assure you the powers that be are paying attention to what you say here at Cutlery News Journal.

I need your help by taking part in the Knife Community Survey, as well as to help make others aware of it. There are thousands of knife collectors who may not be web savvy yet, or a frequent visitor here at CNJ, so please encourage them to come participate in this important survey.

I would also appreciate it if you would post a note and link in any forum you are a part of directing folks this way. I’ve added this survey to the right-side column of the CNJ homepage too. Simply click that page, highlight and copy the address of the CNJ survey page.

The knife collector associations’ leadership wants to better adapt to today’s online knife collector and your information will be invaluable, so please take part and encourage others to also. This survey provides for a comprehensive profile of the knife collector community.

Direct Link to the 2009 Knife Community Survey

Thank you

Scott

Tactical Fixed Blade Knives- I just don’t get it

Weekend Edition

Guys you have to help me here-

I have really tried to keep an open mind. I like knives. I like cool knives too. But, I can’t for the life of me understand the purpose of the tactical fixed blade knife. Tactical folders, I can get, but not the tactical fixed blade.

In an article in the current edition of Blade entitled “Icons of Utility- Factory Tactical Fixed Blades Offer A Healthy Dose Of Cut For Whatever Needs It,” the writer states-

 “…a category of cut misunderstood by most outside the knife fraternity, but understood all too well by those who use blades on a daily basis.” 

OK, I admit I don’t use knives on a daily basis, therefore I don’t get it. Not when there are hundreds of others, fixed and folders, already being made that can serve the same purpose.

I am really trying here. I just can’t get it. 

There is no doubt our military, law enforcement, etc. need aggressive knives, but the average Joe- I don’t see it. Working with it (cutting carpet, electrical wiring, scuba diver instructor, etc.)- I get. Buying a replica of a combat knife as a collectible, like the Mark II- I get. Using it as a recreational knife- hunting, camping, hiking or backpacking- OK, I can get that too.

A combat/survival knife 

One of the pitches used by knife companies for them is as a survival/combat knife? Tell me what the heck is stalking us? If something was after me, I think I’d rather use my Beretta.

OK- for combat/survival situations in an official capacity (military, police, etc), no sweat. Otherwise, we are in the wrong place. We might need to move, not buy a combat/survival knife.

And to just have one to walk around with? That ain’t cool and it ain’t smart. It is looking for trouble. I know the blade cuts and can be used for anything a “standard” fixed blade or some strong pocket knives can, but still I just don’t get it.

A Utility knife

It is obvious too that many of the makers try to help justify these knives by emphasising their “utility.” Yeah, right; I could use my machete to open my letters or trim my finger nails too.

We wonder why knives are under attack now from a legal and law enforcement perspective, but my gracious, let’s talk about the fact that a large segment of the target buyer audience for these particular knives- it is the young folks. Go to YouTube and see for yourself. I know young people want cool knives- heck, I do too. I know young folks don’t want to carry their grandfather’s old Case XX either. 

In the end

Knife companies are going to make knives buyers want to buy, or what buyers will buy. I can accept that.

What is the purpose of making a tactical fixed blade knife? I guess it is simply because they can.


Published in: on December 27, 2008 at 8:40 am  Comments (1)  
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CNJ Editorial- What about a Knife Industry Bailout too?

The pocket knife industry is continuing to experience tough times. The reasons for this have nothing to do with the current fiascos involving mortgage backed securities, the credit crunch or the real estate bubble fallout. Instead it has more to do with cheap imports and the over-supply of knives available here in America.

Free Trade-

Trying to balance “free trade” is tricky. Today, the US is tremendously affected by the global economy. And while our government (and the American consumer) wants foreign made products, there has to be a balance in order to protect our industries. 

Even before the current recession, the government favored its agenda and consumer demand (for foreign products) over the interest of US businesses.

If you look back over the history of American knife companies- going back to the late 1800s and early 1900s- the US Government had taken proactive steps to protect the knife industry. These actions were usually brought about by the knife industry execs going to Capital Hill to plead their case (which isn’t happening today, incidentally). 

Taxpayer Money?

I’m not advocating the knife industry be assisted with US taxpayers’ money, like Wall Street, the US Banks, Insurance Co.’s, the Auto Industry and the Airlines, but I do think the Government should help industries before they get to that stage by putting in place or raising the duties paid by foreign firms selling products here in the US.

I take this position for two reasons: First, it is a proactive position. How many more American knife companies have to go under, before the Government realizes we have a problem? You bet I am for the free enterprise system, but it has gotten much more complicated in today’s global economy on knowing where to draw that line. Also, we know the knife industry will never even appear on the radar of warranting any form of a bailout because the ripple effect of it failing won’t create a crisis like the aforementioned industries, nor will it affect a large enough segment of our population.

Protect the Industry

Therefore, it is time to increase tariffs/taxes on the imports…not to stop them from coming in, but to help equalize the prices, and help make our cutlery industies’ products be more competitive. Not only will this help the industry, it will help our economy by protecting the valuable jobs of those employed by these firms.

So what say you? Feel free to post a comment or send a Letter to Editor.

Published in: on November 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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CNJ Audio Interview Series- Tom Arrowsmith of W R Case Part II

One of the privileges of hosting the CNJ Audio Interview Series is my being able to have one-on-one candid conversations with many of the most successful individuals in the Knife Industry.

Recently, I spoke with Mr. Tom Arrowsmith, the President of the W R Case & Sons Cutlery Company of Bradford, Pennsylvania. He was gracious enough to grant me the time necessary to answer my questions, the result of which is this two part interview.

If you missed Part I, catch it first, as it sets the stage for the questions addressed in Part II.

 

In Part II, we discuss many topics, including the reason for and success of the Case Collector Appreciation Weekend, the economy and knife sales, government regulation, challenges presented by off-shore knife manufacturers, Case’s marketing efforts and Web presence, and the results of Case’s Made in America campaign. 

Case fans you will find these interviews a rare treat- being able to have an open forum with the president of Case. If you are not a Case collector, his insights on the Knife Industry and the challenges facing American companies are very interesting. 

The buffering time of the show varies depending on your connection speed. Typically it takes around 10 seconds before it begins, so please be patient as it loads.

https://cutlerynewsjournal.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/cnj-ais-03part2-tom-arrowsmith-with-wrcase.mp3″


Published in: on October 10, 2008 at 7:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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